September 3, 2013

Everything you need to know about Civil 3D ToolTips

While on Tech support here at Ideate Inc., I got a question from a customer about a ToolTip that shows the station and offset an alignment. He did not know how to access this function. Out-of-the-box the software defaults to have the ToolTips on. But what if they aren’t on and you want to see them? What if you don’t want them because you feel like it clutters your screen? How do you turn them on or off?

Well first, let’s understand what ToolTips are. There are three types: Command, Rollover and Proximity. Command ToolTips show up when you hover your cursor over a command in the Ribbon, as shown below.

Command ToolTip

Rollover ToolTips display object information when the cursor hovers over an object.
Rollover ToolTip

Proximity ToolTips display proximity information about the current cursor location with respect to objects in the drawing. You don’t have to hover the cursor over a particular object to display information. Wherever you find your cursor, you will find a ToolTip with proximity information to various objects in the drawing.

Proximity ToolTip

In order to have access to these ToolTips, you need to have them turned on.  You do this in the Options Box and the Object Properties Box. On the Display Tab of the Options Box, you can turn on Command ToolTips and Rollover ToolTips. For Command ToolTips, you have the choice of showing an extended Command ToolTip and Shortcut Keys, which show up at the bottom of the ToolTip. Refer to the first image of a Command ToolTip above for examples of these options. The Rollover ToolTip check box is below the Command ToolTip, as shown below.

Command and Rollover ToolTip Check Boxes

The Proximity ToolTip check box is at the bottom of the Information Tab on the Object Properties Box. This means that you can individually turn on or off Proximity ToolTips for each object. This allows flexibility on what information is displayed.

Proximity ToolTip Check Box

Thank you for reading. I hope this has been informative. For more information on training and consulting for the various products we service, visit our website at

Kate Ming
Ideate AEC Application Specialist

Kate has a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley. Prior to Ideate, she worked at a multinational company for four years doing general civil design on large infrastructure projects. She is versed in roadway, rail, and utility design. She also has experience with utility demand analysis and Low Impact Development plans. At Ideate, Kate provides training and support for Civil 3D, AutoCAD, and Navisworks.  

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